It was indeed a great pleasure to host Dwayne Bravo on a Zoom chat and I learnt quite lot about the player which he shared to me on this friendly conversation.
When I asked him how does he feel after announcing his retirement, he clarified that he has just retired from international cricket and his fans can look forward to seeing him franchise cricket and he still has a lot of cricket left in him.
I asked him how does he feel being the only player to win 16 T20 titles, he has said he always keeps having a banter with Kieron Pollard that he has won 17 titles and not 16 titles as a player he has won the Big Bash with Sydney Sixers which was missing in the ESPN cricket. He recalls every win as he said whenever he played for his country or any franchise he played for. He always gave 100 per cent and is proud of all the 17 wins which is a record in itself.
When I asked him about his debut Test which was against England at the home of cricket at Lord’s, he explained it was a dream come true to play Test cricket and his childhood hero Brian Lara was the captain and he still cherishes that moment. There was no T20 at that time and he feels the stars just aligned at the tender age of 23. He had told his parents that he wanted be the next Brian Lara and his dream of sharing the dressing room with him and it was a special moment and he still shares a very strong friendship.
He has scored three Test hundreds which will be always be special but the hundred against Australia is more special as it was scored against the No. 1 team which had Shane Warner, Glenn McGrath in its ranks, and to score at their home ground was indeed a proud moment for him.
He said he started his Test career at the age of 20 and sadly was deprived of playing more Test cricket at the age of just 26 because of the West Indies board and he could not show the world what he was capable of.
When I asked him about the ODI career and in the 2006 series against India and the slower ball he bowled to outwit Yuvraaj Singh to win the game for West Indies. His slower ball after that game became very famous and people still remember that delivery which he is potent in the white ball format.
When I asked him about when he was stuck at 199 ODI wickets, he said his last ODI was in 2014 and in this year’s series against Australia he requested Phil Simmons to give him a chance to play one last ODI to achieve that landmark of 200 wickets, which is only bettered by Curtly Ambrose and Walsh but sadly he did not get another chance to achieve this record of 200 wickets in ODI and that shall always be a regret.
I reminded him about his special knock in the T20 World Cup in England which won him the man of the match award and it was special as people recognised him as a T20 player and everyone not only in West Indies remember him but also India love him.
He said he was a goalkeeper in his school days and that energy he carried that on the cricket field.
He is proud of being a part of the squad which won two T20 World Cups, in fact in the 2014 World Cup no one gave them a chance but they proved to the world that they were the best in the world — and they won it on his 29th Birthday when he took the last catch against Sri Lanka and they celebrated that into the early morning.
He added a very important point where he said people always remembered West Indies teams as individuals like Pollard, Russel, Bravo, Sammy and many more but they proved to the world they could play as a team and win the World Cup.
In the 2016 World Cup, West Indies board was not in full support of the team and they surprised when they won again in 2016 to be the only team to win the T20 World Cup twice and everyone sang the song Champion which was played.
He said everyone feels he wrote the song ‘Champion’ before the World Cup but that was not the case. He shared that he had got dropped from the 2015 World Cup ODI team which was the lowest point in his cricketing career, he felt his test career was done, ODI career was done. In the CPL in 2015 when he leads his team to the title he got back his energy, he was on the top of the world, he felt like he is a back. He told his friend that he is a champion and he wanted to do that song and names kept keeping of champions like Gayle, Pollard, Bravo in doing that song. He recorded the song in August 2015 and released it just before the 2016 World Cup to motivate the West Indies team and with every win the whole team used to the dance move and celebrate the victory. And after the first game when Gayle scored a hundred it became famous with everyone in India and the world humming that song which got 115 million views and went viral.
He said after the win against India the crowd gave them the standing ovation at the Wankhede Stadium and most Indian fans support the West Indies team in the finals at Eden Garden, everyone supporting only West Indies.
India means a lot to him and it has given his so much love and appreciation during the IPL and for everything he did for West Indies team. He spoke about the 2018 IPL where they were called as Dads’ Army and the first game against Mumbai Indians he took his team to victory chasing a big target after tottering at 66/6 to lay the platform for another title for IPL.
He remembers he had pressure coming in that IPL as he was bought by CSK for a whopping million dollar and he had to give it back to the franchise and give his best shot. He further added that CSK is a special franchise and working under Dhoni and Fleming and all the owners, they are very consistent and back the team even if they lose. In 2020 in spite of not making it to the playoffs for the first time, the management back them and they won yet another title, their fourth in the IPL in UAE this year where no one had given them a chance.
In the quick fire round, he said MS Dhoni as the best finisher, Deepika Padukone as his favourite heroine, Ronaldo as his favourite football player, KFC as his favourite fast food, Ambati Raydu has the funniest player of CSK and when I asked him who is more calm in CSK camp, Fleming or Dhoni, he said with a smile MS Dhoni.
When I asked him if wants to do a Bollywood film, he said hundred per cent and if given a chance he will be happy to do it.
His project DJ B47 is special, it’s his brand of clothing line and be a champion by being associated with him, it’s available on line on Amazon and other websites.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group.